Govia wins rail contract that'll bring 10,000 more seats during rush hour

Harriet Green
Follow Harriet
(Source: Department for Transport)

The busiest rail routes in London and the South East are to get three new state-of-the-art train fleets.

Govia Thameslink Railway has bagged a seven-year government contract, which includes building 1,400 electric carriages.

This’ll increase capacity by over 50 per cent, supplying 10,000 extra seats every weekday into central London during the rush hour by the end of 2018.

The government said the franchise will improve services to numerous destinations, including: Brighton, King’s Lynn, Peterborough, Cambridge, Bedford, Luton, Gatwick Airport and Moorgate.

It’ll see 1,140 carriages brought onto the Thameslink network, which are already under construction, and aid the introduction of new cross capital services and a connection at Crossrail.

Govia will operate the trains as part of the Thameslink, Southern and Great Northern (TSGN) franchise, the DfT confirmed.

Rail minister Stephen Hammond said:

New state-of-the-art trains, more seats, better connections and improved stations will transform travel across London and the south east. That’s great news for businesses and the hundreds of thousands of passengers who use these vital services every day.

The news is another blow for transport firm FirstGroup, whose chief executive, Tim O’Toole, said this morning that he’s “disappointed” it won’t be running the franchise.